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Leo S. Carty was born on April 17th, 1931 in Harlem, New York. His artistic talent was recognized at an early age, as the result of a sports mural he painted while attending a summer recreational program, he received a scholarship to the Museum of Modern art for Children at the age of ten.

In 1976 Leo moved his talents to St. Croix and began to expand his style and mediums. He taught at the Golden Grove correctional Facility, University of the Virgin Islands, and was the coordinator of the Adult Education Senior Art Program. He also created an editorial cartoon for the Avis newspaper, which appeared weekly during the late 70’s and throughout the 1980's. The cartoons which were created over thirty years ago still ring true today. He also taught Art to grades K-12 at St. Dunstan's Episcopal School for 10 years before devoting his full time to painting in 1989. He served on many boards; V.I. Council on the Arts, St. Croix Arts Council, St. George Village Botanical Gardens and the St. Croix Jazz Society.


1996 Governors' First Awards for Excellence in the Arts

Carty's highest honor and one of 12 recipients to receive the award. Carty was honored "in recognition of your accomplishments and exceptional contribution toward the advancement of the Visual Arts in the Virgin Islands." Carty had the distinction of being the only non-native born honoree.


Carty's impressionistic paintings adorn the walls of numerous public buildings throughout the U.S.V.I. He completed a Federal Commission for the Alric L. Christian Federal Building and CourtHouse in Orange Grove, St. Croix. It is a three paneled mural 9 ft. by 14 ft. that depicts the history of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. Leo became only the third African American artist to receive and complete a General Services Administration Commission, joining Romare Beardon and Jacob Lawrence.

In 2020, Stefan Carty, Leo’s youngest son, founded the Carty Fine Arts Studios in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of his father’s passing. The mission is to continue the legacy of illustrating life through vivid images that capture the imagination. The studio features an exclusive collection of Leo’s work.

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